Pep Guardiola should start Riyad Mahrez for Manchester City against Real Madrid in the upcoming second leg of their Champions League semi-final, according to TalkSPORT analyst Gabby Agbonlahor.
The Citizens drew 1-1 in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu after Kevin De Bruyne’s goal in the second half cancelled out Vinicius Junior’s first-half goal.
One analyst suggested that Guardiola should look to make one specific change to the starting XI he selected in Madrid before the crucial second-leg match, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola is urged by Agbonlahor to start Mahrez against Real Madrid.
When asked how City should approach the match on talkSPORT, Agbonlahor responded as follows.
I would play Mahrez, he declared. Although Bernardo Silva is a fantastic player, they would have done more damage at the Bernabeu if Mahrez had been active.
Mahrez scored, played outstandingly, and may have made the difference in that match against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last season.
Mahrez didn’t play in either of City’s quarterfinal matches against Bayern Munich in addition to the match on Tuesday in Madrid.
However, the winger has contributed with three goals in eight Champions League appearances this campaign, which supports why Agbonlahor sees him as a goal threat.
Mahrez (3.5) of the City team actually has the second-highest rate of expected goals in this Champions League season behind only Erling Haaland (9.1).
In our opinion, Guardiola should start the Algerian and hope that he can make the difference for the team in front of goal if he wants to adopt a more offensive strategy in the second leg.